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How to Use Instagram Collab Posts to Increase Your Reach

Elise Yu

Feb 14, 2024

Learn how to use Instagram collab posts to co-author content and grow its reach — it’s fast, easy, and powerful in helping you grow your Insta presence.

Table of Contents

One of Instagram’s most unique advantages is its ability to connect you with other brands and influencers to create powerful, results-driven content. If you’re not using Instagram collab posts to do this, you’re missing out.

Instagram has become synonymous with brand collaborations over the years. It’s a platform of inspiration, influence, and more than a little FOMO. To help its creators improve the way they work together (and encourage more unique content), Instagram creates features like the Instagram collab post that takes your posting game to a whole new level.

Here’s what marketers should know about the Insta collab feature and how you can use it to fuel your influencer marketing.

What Is an Instagram Collab Post?

Photo of a phone in someone's hand with the Instagram feed open

Instagram rolled out its collaborative posts in 2021. The collab feature allows two accounts to co-author a Reel or feed post. Basically, it looks like the post came from both people.

In the context of influencer marketing, brands can add influencers as collaborators to a post (and vice versa). When this happens, the audiences of both authors will see the content. They share the likes, views, and comments.

And since the content is being shown to two sets of followers, the total number of views and engagement rates will be larger than either could achieve on their own.

Tip: Learn more about Instagram impressions and reach, how the Instagram algorithm works, and about Instagram analytics.

Differences Between Collab Posts and Mentions or Tags

You might be thinking, this sounds like mentions or tags with extra steps. There are significant differences, though, and they’re important to consider.

Visibility to Followers

When you mention or tag another account in your content, that doesn't guarantee visibility to the tagged account's followers. For instance, if someone tags you in a video, your followers won't automatically see it. They would need to visit your profile to view the tagged content.


In a collab post on Instagram, both parties are listed as authors, and their account names appear in the post's header. This is not the case with mentions and tags, where you are not credited as an author of the post.

Access to Metrics

The collab feature on Instagram provides both parties with access to success metrics, such as reach and engagement. This is in stark contrast to posts where you are merely mentioned or tagged, as those don't offer any insights into the content's performance —  unless you use specialized tools like Meltwater Influencer Marketing.

Formality and Partnership

The term "collab" itself signifies a more formal, professional, and official relationship between the involved accounts. Unlike mentions or tags, a collab requires acceptance of an invitation, indicating a mutual agreement and partnership. This adds a layer of personal investment for both parties involved.

How Instagram Collab Posts Increase Your Reach

Photo of a phone with Instagram analytics

When you use the Instagram collab feature, you can guarantee your content will be seen by more people. Collaborators are co-authors, so the content is shown to both sets of followers. It’s a fast and easy way to get more eyes on your posts without making any extra effort (other than inviting a collaborator).

Of course, more views and wider reach mean more opportunities for engagement. You share the likes, shares, and comments with your co-author and can track these engagements in your metrics dashboard.

Their followers might become your followers, and vice versa. This is the low-hanging fruit of audience growth for brands since your collab Instagram post gives you instant credibility with their audience.

With every new follower you earn from your Instagram collaboration, the more opportunities you have to engage these newcomers with future content. That’s a gift with a lasting impact.

Other Benefits of an Instagram Collaboration Post

Photo of a woman holding a plus sign

The benefits of an Instagram collaboration post don’t end with reach. Here are some other reasons brands should consider using the collab feature.

Increased Engagement

Get access to a bigger pool of Insta users who already love and engage with your collaborating partner. Their engagement makes you look good by default, which may give you a boost with the Instagram algorithm.

Simpler Content Creation

Creating great content takes time, but sharing the responsibility with another collaborator can lessen your own efforts. Content creators do what they do best, and you get to take some of the credit.

Easier Influencer Management

Collab on Instagram gives you another layer of visibility into the content your influencers are creating on your behalf. You’ll also have instant access to those posts’ metrics so you can see which collaborators are moving your brand forward.

Greater Brand Authenticity

Tagging and mentioning others takes almost no effort. But showing a strong collaboration where both sides are invested offers more substance and authenticity. It’s a great way to show alignment in beliefs and values, allowing followers to see your brand in a different light.

Stronger Partnerships

Collab on Instagram puts social networking back into the picture. Creating content with others helps to give it greater purpose, plus it allows you to grow your partnerships with successful content creators.

How to Do a Collab Post on Instagram

Keyboard with a How To key

There’s more to building a collaboration on Instagram than simply creating a collab post. Follow these steps to get your content published and seen.

Prime your account for collaboration. This includes making your account public if you are the original author and enabling tags and mentions on your account.

  1. Click the + symbol to create a new post.
  2. Upload the content, then click “Tag People.”
  3. Choose “Invite Collaborator.”
  4. Click on the account you wish to collaborate with.
  5. Wait for the collaborator to accept the invitation.

If you’re a brand working with influencers, chances are they’re following steps 1-5; you’ll handle step 6. However, there may be times when you’re taking the lead on content creation or publishing and will need to add them as an author. Make sure you know both sides of the process.

Collab on Insta: 4 Ideas to Try

Let’s put it all together — how can you make the Instagram collab post feature work for you?

Start with these ideas to maximize your reach with co-authored content.

1. Do a Giveaway with Other Brands

Brands can treat other brands as influencers, especially if they have a shared audience but aren’t direct competitors. Giveaways are popular options for brand collabs, as they allow both partners to get their products seen by potential customers while growing their reach and brand awareness.

2. Showcase Your Brand Values

People buy from brands they can relate to, which is why it’s essential to show your brand values in the content you create. Collaborating with influencers is a great way to do this, like this paid partnership between Vick’s and @momduty. The mommy blogger highlights her family in the content and how they use the famous VapoRub in their sick-day routines.

Screenshot of an IG collab post

3. Partner with Niche Influencers for Product Launches

If you’ve got a new product or service to share, a niche influencer can help you spread the message faster and farther. Let them help you make the announcement and do a product demo, show the product, or talk about their experiences.

4. Grow Brand or Product Awareness

Working with influencers can help brands and influencers alike grow their awareness with relevant audiences. Take this Insta collab between @publicmarketfood and vegan blogger and cookbook author @annavocino, for example. Both have a presence in the Insta foodie community, this partnership provides a great opportunity for both creators to grow their followers while creating appetizing content for their profiles.

IG collab Post example

Instagram Collaboration Rules

There are a few other rules and details you’ll need to know to get the most out of an Instagram collab post. Keep the following in mind when collaborating with other creators:

  • The original author owns the content. This means they have the power to block the collaborator at any time.
  • Only the original author can delete the post. If the original author deletes the content, it will also be deleted from the collaborator’s profile.
  • If the original author switches their profile to private, only their followers will see the content.
  • If the original author deletes their account, the post will also be deleted from the collaborator’s profile.
  • Collaborators can choose to leave the collaboration at any time, but this will not delete the post from the original author’s profile.
  • If the post goes against Instagram community guidelines, Instagram may take action against the original author and the collaborator.

See the full list of guidelines and rules at Instagram’s Help Center.

How To Find Influencers for Instagram Collab Posts

Photo of someone looking for fitting influencers

The Instagram collab post option fast-tracks your collaborations with influencers. To get the most from your partnerships, Meltwater helps you find, manage, and monitor influencers with confidence. Find the best influencers to collaborate with, directly connect with them, and let your collaborations soar. The Meltwater Klear feature also helps you track things like engagement, new posts, and even the content they create outside of your collabs so you can ensure ongoing alignment with your brand and values. 

Experience Meltwater for yourself with a free demo and turn up the heat on your Instagram collaborations: